One of the trending synthetic drugs of abuse during 2013 is known as “Krokodil”; a highly toxic homemade opioid. Until recently this drug was used primarily in Russia as cheap substitute for heroin in lower economic areas. During 2013 reports of Krokodil use here in the U.S. began to surface from various news sources. However, as of yet the DEA has not yet confirmed the presence of Krokodil here in America. As a synthetic form of heroin, this substance is not only very addictive but highly toxic to its users.
It is created from extremely noxious chemicals and is made by combining codeine tablets with various toxic chemicals including lighter fluid and industrial cleaners. Krokodil’s affects the user’s brain in a similar way to heroin but is considered more powerful with a shorter duration. One of the most interesting, yet highly concerning facts about Krokodil (the Russian word for crocodile) is how it got its name. The name comes from the fact that when the user injects the drug it causes scaly, gray-green skin to form at their injection site. The user’s flesh is destroyed and dies due to the drug. From there the user’s skin will become gangrenous – with the worst case scenario being limb amputation to save the drug user’s life.
Over the last few years you may have heard of synthetic marijuana/synthetic cannabinoids, also known as “Spice” or “K2”. Since arriving on the drug scene this dangerous substance has become the second most popular illicit drug among American teens, after actual marijuana. Statistics show that synthetic marijuana is especially prevalent among teen boys. In 2012, 11% of American high school seniors acknowledged using synthetic marijuana in the past year. Until recently, synthetic marijuana was hyped as a natural or safe alternative to actual marijuana. However, nothing could be further from the truth. This drug is very un-natural and is part of a class of designer chemicals that have begun to pose a serious threat to drug users young and old. Since being on the market, synthetic marijuana has landed thousands of young adults and teens (mostly young men) in the emergency room. They arrive suffering from severe symptoms including vomiting, racing heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, seizures and hallucinations. In 2010, there were 11,406 ER visits associated with synthetic marijuana: 75% were between the ages of 12-29 years old, 22.5% were females and 77.5% were males.
Designer chemical drugs such as synthetic marijuana (i.e. Spice and K2) along with others like synthetic cocaine (i.e. Bath Salts and Plant Food) and synthetic opioids (i.e. China White) are taking the country by storm. More and more teens and young adults are experimenting with these deadly substances in an attempt to get high. For many, their recreational drug use often spirals into abuse and then addiction leaving them without the resources they need to stop using once and for all. Narconon Fresh Start is a network of exceptionally successful drug rehab programs that can do more than just help an addict get off the drugs they are addicted to, they can help them uncover and resolve the underlying issues that drove them to choose substance abuse as a way to solve their problems. Their treatment centers are focused on helping clients make real and lasting recoveries so that they no longer think of themselves as addicts but as fully recovered individuals who now have all the tools and skills necessary to remain sober on their own.